Rise in online counselling highlights the particular risks of the medium.
While new figures show an almost nine-fold rise in webcam and instant messenger appointments in online psychological therapy schemes, specialists point to the risks of deepening the fear or incapacity of establishing direct human contact. Steve Flatt, Director of the Psychological Therapies Unit in Liverpool, claimed remote therapies “fly in the face of what it is to be human”.
Speaking to The Independent, he added: “When people are suffering from misery, whether it’s depression or some other form of mental health problem, one of the things they tend to do is avoid contact with other people. When we use a keyboard or a webcam we are distancing ourselves from those immediate intimate connections of therapy and offering a barrier.”